Malaber spinach, known as Pui Sag in Bengali, is something I adore a lot. I hardly miss a chance to pick the green tall branches of fresh pui sag from the market, if I find some. Unlike spinach or similar sags, this one can be best prepared with pumpkin. Aubergine and ridge gourd can give an edge too. A sheer delight to the vegetarians, Pui sag has a great fan following in Bengal.
Ingredients to serve 4 :
- Malaber spinach (Pui sag) – 2 branches
- Pumpkin – 10 – 12 pieces (medium size cubes)
- Potato – 1 (cut into medium size cubes)
- Aubergine – ½ (cut into medium size cubes)
- Ridge gourd – ½ (cut into medium size cubes)
- Green chilli – 2
- Five spice mix (Panch foron) – ½ teaspoon
- Dry red chilli – 1
- Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
- Mustard paste – 2 tbspoon
- Salt & sugar to taste
- Mustard oil – 2 tbspoon
Wash the spinach well under tap water. Separate the leaves from the steam and roughly chop them. Also cut the steam into medium size thin slices. Again wash the chopped spinach.
Wash all the vegetables under running water.
Heat the oil in a wok or kadai over medium flame.
Add ‘panch foron’ and dry red chilli, saute for a while.
Add potato cubes and fry for 2-3 minutes.
Add pumpkin, aubergine and ridge gourd pieces. Also add slit green chillies, salt and half of the turmeric powder. Fry the vegetables till they are half cooked.
Then add chopped ‘pui sag’ or malaber spinach into it. Add the remaining turmeric powder and salt (if needed).
Fry the spinach for 2-3 minutes. As the spinach starts releasing water add sugar and give it a good stir. Cover the pan with a lid and let all the vegetables cook properly over low-medium flame.
As the vegetables get cooked completely add the mustard paste and mix it well.
Cook further for 2-3 minutes till you get a dried end product and then put the gas off.
Serve with steamed rice.
- Generally Malaber spinach releases water during cooking, so we do not need to add extra water from outside. If all the water dries out and still the vegetables remain uncooked, then add little water to the vegetable mixture.
- ‘Panch phoron’ is a mixture of five spices – fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, radhuni and fennel seeds in equal parts. Sometimes black mustard seeds are used instead of radhuni.